Permission is granted to link to
the schematics on this page however I do not extend permission
to place copies of the schematics stored on this site on other
sites. In other words, you can link, but don't download and place
them on your server and show them as yours.
Before you go wild downloading these links and buying parts
for the schematics listed below, there are a few things you should
- If you don't feel like reading yourself
or helping yourself, you shouldn't pursue building your own boxes.
Read all the links you can before asking questions.
- Some schematics on the Internet
have mistakes. There
is no way to know. I got caught by one of these and it cost me
a lot of time before I realized that the schematic was incorrect.
You can protect yourself from this by purchasing a solderless
breadboard (also known as prototype board). These types of boards
make it easy to prototype a circuit and see if it works and how
it sounds before you commit to putting it on a perfboard where
changes are not as easy to make. Unfortunately you still have
to buy the parts to prototype it even if it's a bad schematic
- Building a complete effect (with box,
stomp switch) costs money. The components are cheap but
the box, stomp switch, pots, are expensive. If possible, go mail
order for these parts. In many cases you may be paying MORE than
if you had purchased the unit.
- YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES.
Prepare to take some time to debug your circuit. If you're the
type that's patient and can use this as a learning experience,
great! If you don't like this sort of thing, don't do it. Buy
ready-made effects. Read R.G.
Keen's Effect FAQ for more caveats.
- Your stompbox could sound
different from the original, especially if you don't use
the recommended parts or values. This is especially important
when using certain types of transistors such as FETs. Many times,
even the brand and type matters, especially for capacitors!
- Just purchase some of
them, if you look at the schematic and it looks intensive,
then perhaps you should just buy the pedal. This goes for most
delay type pedals unless you have a PCB. Hand-wiring is just
not appropriate for complex circuits. There is a coolness factor
that is the box and name alone. Another reason is that some of
these manufacturers are really cool guys and care about their
pedals. Many hand-made pedals are simply great and there is a
reason why they are so popular. If you value your time and really
can't afford to waste a lot of it, consider the reasonable prices
of hand-made pedals that are popular and selling. After you get
past some of your mistakes and buy a bunch of parts, $175 for
a hand-wired pedal doesn't seem bad at all :-)
I encourage you to purchase
pedals in production. If it's currently in production and you
can afford it, buy it.
Note that not all of these schematics are guaranteed to
work. Some may be completely wrong. A good place to ask about
effects is Ampage
and alt.guitar.effects, a good newsgroup. I have added notes
in red to the schematics believed to have errors. Items
confirmed by me or others have an OK!
in green. This is not meant to discourage you from trying the
other schematics out, just that I haven't heard anything about
In very general terms, I would say that probably every schematic
on Jack Orman's (AMZ) page
is fine; Keen's (GEO) page
is excellent as well. Most of Justin
Philpott's Site is excellent (he has an effects feedback page),
the one's that have verified problems have corrections noted so
pay attention to the notes.
The schematics are listed by manufacturer or type or designer
with the name of the stompbox and the web site that it is located
at. I encourage you to look through these great websites and learn
more from the excellent articles on them.
About the files:
Most are .gif or .jpg and can be viewed right
away. The files with .pdf at the end need Adobe
Acrobat Reader. The files with .ps are Postscript files
and need a Postscript
Viewer. The files with .ps.Z are compressed (I forget
the format... tar?) they need to be uncompressed then viewed with
Expander should work on these files.
- For more mods to this circuit check out the Brit
Aron Nelson - Circuit-Ware -
not shareware, but something like it.
Rim 2 - OK! The Lava
Rim revisited. I realized the original Lava Rim sounds better
than the Lava Rim+! Here are my changes after a year. I think
it sounds great! Sound
- Key points about the Lava Rim 2, uses cheap readily available
2N3904 transistors, sounds good and can get creamy - slightly
compressed tones with the drive and input pot set low as well
as nasty heavier types of distortion. It's also very easy to
build and easily adapts to germanium NPN transistors; the trimpots
really allow you to dial in a very good tone.
- 11/29/99 - The Lava Rim 2 is a versatile
circuit! You can mix NPN germanium transistors and silicon transistors
for a unique sound. The trim pots let you use all types of transistors
such as the 2N5088 for more distortion and gain. In addition,
the 2nd transistor can use a MOSFET like the 2N7000 or BS170!
Just pop in the MOSFET, drain toward V+, source toward ground
and adjust the trim pot until you hear good tone! In addition,
remove the diodes to really hear the MOSFET. Thanks to Jack
Orman for the tip on using a MOSFET for the 2nd transistor!
- 11/28/99 - to reduce some of the brightness
of the pedal, you may want to put a capacitor (.001uF -> .01uF
in parallel with the clipping diodes).
- 11/6/99 - revision 2 - added bounding pot
to diodes for more control over diode distortion.
- OK! a germanium/silicon transistor
hybrid Fuzz Face that screams! High gain, high sustain, ANGRY,
yet can get bluesy when your guitar pot is turned down. Minimalistic
design that can be "tuned" to perfection. Better watch
out cause the Hornet will sting The Rocket! Sound
- The Hornet did not happen without the contributions
of the usual netizens that help us so often. Alfonso Hermida,
GFR, Gus Smalley, Jack Orman, R.G. and others. Thank you guys!
- From Jack Orman:
- Since the supply of 2N388A transistors have been depleted
at Parts Express, I thought I'd post a few alternate devices
that they carry that can be used for F-F construction. Any of
the below parts should be suitable and are less than $1
each. The last one is spec-ed a little weak but would likely
be okay. The first one is a good sub for the 2N388A.
- Part No. Type Hfe Price
2N1306 NPN 100 $ .95
2N1308 NPN 150 $ .75
2N1309 PNP 150 $ .75
2N1373 PNP 60 $ .95
- The NTE101 is another choice:
- 11/8/00 Small
Bear has a nice PNP version of the Hornet, check
- 7/11/99 -
- Notes: Not much to this circuit; the trimpots allow you to
really tune in and adjust the circuit. Please try the 2N388A
transistors as they are dirt cheap (18 cents when bought in lots
of 5 or more I think). The 2N5088s can be readily found through
Mouser. The rest is pretty much Radio Shack or your local store.
Convert to PNP transistors by changing the orientation
of the lone 47uF electrolytic and reversing the battery polarity.
(The battery AND 47uF cap POSITIVE to ground).
- Mods: The input cap is critical; for classic fat fuzz tones
use 2.2uF to 10uF to larger! (you may consider socketing it -
I did) The output cap is less critical; I have found that .1uF
is fine for me. The .05uF that I use I have found to be very
good because it changes the frequency response of my guitar the
least. I have around the same bass as when the unit is bypassed.
The trimpots allow you to really tune in the sound. Many shades
of distortion will come out as you fool around and turn them.
C? is a high end rolloff cap, you can put .001 to .01 to larger
values and hear what it does (socket this cap). You can also
put the usual 50K pot at the input BEFORE the input cap as described
in the Technology
of the Fuzz Face - (GEO)
Excellent article about the Fuzz Face.
- You could also make the 1K resistor off of Q2's collector
a 47K, then make the 100K trim a 47K and tap the output off of
the junction between the two. This will reduce your output level
and make it a lot tamer.
- 11/26/99 - Built another one and it works fine. I believe
the previous circuit I built on 11/10/96 had some type of bad
voodoo in it. The schematic works and is fine. I didn't need
the bias pot for the 2nd one.
- 11/20/99 Revision 6 online. More cleaning up and fixed a
- 11/11/99 Revision 5a online. Jack cleaned up a few thing.
- 11/10/99 Revision 5 online. Optional bias pot to stop gating
effect of CMOS if you have the gating problem when notes are
decaying. You turn the pot until the gating is gone, measure
the values of the pot from wiper to lugs and then put in fixed
resistors. I have to point out that this is an advanced project.
I built another one and it seemed pretty hard to build. So many
things to keep track off. In addition, I had to put in the bias
control - I just put one bias pot and connected a 1Meg resistor
from each inverter input to the pot wiper. I ended with a 33K
from 9V to the 1M resistors to inverter inputs, then a 56K resistor
- PCB Layout, Press
and peel layout (TIF format) Thanks to John Catto!
- 11/5/99 Revision 4 online. The trim pot values are now listed.
I measured them in circuit , with power off.
- 11/3/99 Thanks to Jack Orman for pointing out errors and
mods. The revised schematic (revision 2) is now online.
- Here is the pinout of the CD4049 chip.
Here's more on the CD4049 from Jack Orman and GFR.
- 9/6/99 - I just built The Rocket using GEO's
PCB. It was easy to create and gives very professional results.
A couple of mods as I played it through my Bassman and a 12"
- Try substituting .047uF caps for both .01uF caps right after
the buffer in the front. You can't miss them, they are the only
.01uF caps on the entire board. In addition, I really mellowed
out the pedal by putting a .2uF cap (two .1uF caps in parallel)
instead of the .1uF in the tone control. Remember that if you
use caps larger than .1uF instead of the .01uF caps, you will
have to increase the input cap value. Basically two .01uF caps
will give you a midrange heavy tone with some bass cut - nice
and slicing. Anything more will start giving you a smoother rounder
tone and increase bass response.
- Shaka Braddah -
OK! (pronounced Shock - Ah - Brah
Dah) Preliminary version. IC based distortion with FET booster
at end. When the drive knob is turned all the way down and level
is up, you get a big boost. Goes from a hint of distortion to
flat out heavy gain. The diode combination I chose produces a
smooth nice distortion. I list a number of mods that you can
make to the box. Put it on a proto board and mod it till it does
what you want! Thanks to Jack Orman for helping with the design
and the FET booster on the end!
- Read the notes...
- Shaka Braddah Mods by Doug Hammond.
Check out the notes about the mods.
- A hi-gain pedal for the guys that want to rock!. The
Shaka Express represents the top of the line Shaka for hi-gain
overdrive/distortion. The mid "bite" control gives
your distortion "teeth" and the 3 FET stages make sure
every nuance comes out loud and clear. Step on this pedal and
take the lead. PCB
and Layout available from GEO.
a sample of the Shaka Express from sounds.ampage.org.
JPEG available for people
that are PDF challenged :-)
- Shaka HV This one is for the guys that like more
clean headroom and very little to medium overdrive. When the
drive is turned all the way down, you can a great good clean
boost. Runs on 18 volts (2 batteries) and has much less drive
than my usual pedals! Easy to build and sounds good. HV = higher
voltage. If you run it on 30 volts, then change the drive pot
to a 500K.
- The goal of the Shaka Braddah line is to make a pedal
that can have tremendous boost into an amp while preserving the
tone of your equipment. The circuit should go from soft clipping
all the way to heavy overdrive. I believe the Shaka Braddah III
achieves this goal.
Braddah III - OK! A
new version of the Shaka Braddah (based on a circuit by
Jack Orman) that sounds very good. Creamy and smooth
with some bite at lower drive settings. Smooth and warm at high
drive settings with the FET booster smoothing out the diodes.
Check it out! Sound
sample available. Blake has another sound
sample of his modded SB3.
- The Shaka Braddah III was designed for you to be able to
set the tone control (around 8-9 o'clock) to a neutral setting
and get a booster/distortion that can make your guitar sound
hotter and more vibrant. In addition, when the drive settings
are turned up, it should sound like your amp is being cranked
- Thanks to John Greene for the idea of using MOSFETs as
- Note that the parts placement .pdf
file incorrectly lists a TL074 for the TL072 IC and a 0.047 instead
of .004 capacitor.
- Mods to try: 3 or more 1N34a diodes in series on each
side of the clipping section. Each diode that you add will raise
the clipping threshold and basically allow the Minibooster circuit
to distort more before the clipping diodes start adding their
sound. What this means is that you will hear more of the FETs
before the diodes kick in. In a similar vein, I suppose that
you could try 1N914 and 1N4148 diodes for their harsher sound
and put then into the circuit. Since I socketed my clipping section,
this will be easy for me to try soon. I have tried different
ICs (RC4558 and LF353) and although the LF353 sounded different,
I still like the sound of the TL072 fine. Try adding the "softness"
or clipping threshold control noted in my Simple Mods page.
- 8/20/00 - Revised drawing. Fixed tone control, removed 100K
- 12/9/99 - Please try different op amps in the Shaka 3 circuit.
They make a rather large difference and one that you can fool
around with is the TS272CN (part number 511-TS272CN from Mouser).
At 72 cents it's a cheap, fun mod. It radically changes the sound
of the pedal. The pedal becomes more midrange, distortion is
radically different. More sustain at the expense of fidelity.
- 12/5/99 - If you like highs like I do, remove the 100K trimmer
before the Minibooster and change the 10K trimmer on the source
of the Minibooster to a 4.7K - that's enough of a trimmer to
reduce gain on the Minibooster circuit. The 100K trimmer loads
down the circuit and reduces highs a bit.
- 8/21/99 - There was an omission in
the original schematic - my original Shaka III's MiniBooster
is also a treble booster. The new schematic reflects this change.
With this simple change (1 cap), your Shaka III will be clearer,
brighter and punchier. On R.G.'s
board (which all of you should purchase), here
is the capacitor you should change.
- 7/4/99 - current consumption is ~5 mA, not bad.
- 5/18/99 - Try different tone circuits with the Shaka III.
Splice different types of tone circuits after the MiniBooster.
Try the RAT tone control and others. I think you will find that
the Shaka III circuit is extremely versatile and adapts to different
tone controls. The pedal sounds very different when used with
different tone circuits.
- 5/9/99 - Notice that my Shaka III doesn't have the 22K resistor
going to ground in the tone control section. This probably explains
why my pedal doesn't get the scooped mids if this 22K resistor
- 4/18/99 - Wired 2 IRF520s as MOSFET diodes with a 1N34a diode
attached to the source pin. This arrangement sounds extremely
natural to me. Wire 2 of these and reverse them in polarity when
attaching them to a circuit just like a diode pair.
- Diode is 1N34A, MOSFET is IRF510
or IRF520. Make 2 of these and then use them as diodes in the
- 4/15/99 - Added a trimpot on the schematic which essentially
allows you to control the amount of "clean boost" when
the drive is turned all the way down. This trimpot allows you
to make your "clean boost" really clean or kinda dirty
- you know?
- 4/11/99 - Tried 4 1N34a diodes on each side for a total of
8 diodes! The diode array tested at ~.822. Very nice... Even
more nice dynamics, yet still has a smooth sound. I'm going to
try some 1N914 and 1N4148 combinations for asymmetrical and other
varieties of distortion. I realized I am able to mount the diodes
onto sockets essentially creating a clipping "module".
I can plug these modules in anytime for different sounds.
- Check out Doug Hammond's Shaka Braddah
III mods which he calls the Shaka Braddah IV. I did like
the sound of his mods. I find that the Rat circuit seems to produce
less highs and this may work for amps which are bright.
- Booster 2.5 OK! The Booster 2.5 is the next generation
of the Booster 2 designed by Jack Orman. I refined the circuit
based on the refinements Jack put in his Mini-Tiubes pedal. The
result is a stunning overdrive that has 90% of the wonderful
tone of the Mini-Tubes with about 1/3 of the complexity. A great
pedal, I am still enjoying mine. Also check out the Sweet
Thing, which is the Booster 2.5+Doug
Hammond's mods. Another excellent variation; this one is
on my pedal board. Coming soon: Boost
switch, modified tone control.... possibly more... Sound
- Hot Fuzz
- My take on the Colorsound Tone Bender Professional Mark
II with the Sweet Thing tone control. I'm still working on
this one, so stay tuned. BTW: the "T" next to the pots
mean use a trimmer. Sound
would purchase all Boss pedals because most of them are very complicated
and they are reasonably priced.
Colorsound (Sola Sound)
- OK! I like this pedal! Initially
designed to do clean boost. Boy does it BOOST! To control the
gain and make it more like a distortion pedal, put a 10K or 100K
volume pot at the end of the circuit, that way you now have a
drive and volume pot arrangement.
Tone Bender - OK! Verified 8/9/98.
Sounds initially like a transistorized Sonic 9 distortion (or
rather the Sonic 9 is the IC version of this). Has a Big Muff/Sonic
9 single tone pot which goes from nasty slicing highs to full
and round. Lots of gain. An interesting sound, It seems like
I can still hear the original guitar sound in the output like
it was mixed in.
- WaitAMinute! Look at
the Big Muff
schematic... Now look at the Jumbo
Tone Bender... anything familiar?
- Notes from John Catto:
- Today a friend of mine gave me a (not working
- broken footswitch/one pot) Sola Sound Tone Bender. This is
the three knob version built by many people on this board, including
myself. There have always been some doubts about the schematic
and now was my opportunity to clear this up once and for all!
The schematics posted by RG are pretty close, the only differences
1. ALL pots are 100k not 250k and no 2Mg (it appears the Yardbox
is a closer clone than thought)
2. The resister from Q2 to earth is 3.3K not 33k
3. The capacitor that parallels the 3.3k resistor is 10uf on
my unit not 22uf
4. On my unit there is a 220k resistor between the centre lug
of the tone pot and the volume.
- The Transistors are all unmarked metal can,
no doubt Germanium. The can has a narrow ridge around it about
a sixth of the way up.
- One more thing, I've always believed that
this design is the original design predating the more fuzzface
like models with 2 knobs. This one however is dated inside 21
March 1974, so perhaps it is a later design after all or at least
was still made that late. The case is a very slightly shallower
version of the colorsound box, with silver paint and orange/black
Well there it is. I never thought I'd see one of these in the
Layout and more on Guitars,
Amps and Effects. OK!
- Tone Bender Professional Mark II.
- Check out the various Bender variations.
- Mark Poley contributed his version
with tone control! Check it out!
- Rangemaster - OK!
- 11-27-98 - Check out R.G.
Keen's GEO page for a very nice explanation of the Dallas
Rangemaster and how to build your own!
- Blue Clipper
Circuits) This schematic believed to
have errors. Dan Armstrong said that MXR copied this circuit
to make their Distortion+. He said they copied it line for line
and added a tone control. Last I knew, the Distortion+ does not
have a tone control.
- Note: Jack Orman
points out "the resistor from the inverting input to the
47uF cap is way too big: it should be 2k4 or even 240 ohms."
- This contribution from Doug Hammond is an extension of the
ShakaBraddah III which refines various points of the original
design. Doug has worked a while on this design and it promises
to be very good. All the good attributes of the Shaka Braddah
III have been retained with improvements.Here is the PCB.
- Some like it HOT and this pedal is built for sizzling leads.
Another contribution from Doug Hammond. A Shaka with attitude+!
- Blum is asking for help on this:
- The biggest problems for me are :
- - MN 3007, 4047,4066 and 4013 pins
- LM 311 out (I suppose it`s LM 311?) If you have ideas, please
post on the forum.
- Possible mods and notes: You can try NTE123AP, which is pretty
much 2N2222 transistors. Try lower hFE transistors - like 150-250
instead of the usual 400+. Ed Rembold suggests Q1 base to ground
- Simple Deluxe Memory Man reissue mods
that can be done. OK!
- Notes: According to Jack
Orman, "Pin 2 is marked as the non-inverting input when
it is actually the inverting input.... it's marked this way consistently
on the schematic. You have to feedback from the output to the
inverting input (except for a Schmitt trigger). I verified this
in the RCA data sheet for the CA3094 - pin 2 is inverting and
pin 3 is non-inverting"
- 183 Value Distortion Pedal (Guitarage)
- 184 FET Distortion (Guitarage)
Does this look familiar? :-)
- 184 Blue Suede Fuzz (Guitarage)
Clarke - Frank has some nice modifications for existing
circuits and nice new pedals. A very nice site!
Tone Machine (Justin
Philpott's Site) OK! Nice smooth
distortion. Gets raspy when octave is switched in. Not a bad
octave sound, works over more of the fretboard than the Tycobrahe.
However I think that the Tycobrahe has more ring modulator type
sounds and is clearer for octaves on the high notes. I put the
lowest gain 2N5088 transistors I could measure. However I did
put in transistor sockets in this one. I will later put in the
transistors specified in the schematic.
Tone Machine (GEO) OK!
GCS/Gus Smalley The following are circuits
that are variants of existing circuits but with hand-picked substitution
values/parts by Gus Smalley. Please try these...
- Gus recommends an LF353 for the dual op amp.
"The circled options are to make it
- sound more like a Big Muff high and low end
- you disconnect the feedback pot and leave
just the 1n4148 diodes it goes
- into what I call sick mode Think Edges U2
broken fuzz sound on POP tracks 1 and 2.
- It also sounds very good in the loop of a
lovetone meatball effect". "I use
- 100k audio pot on the output of effects because
of the way the drive of
- the IC and the pot interact with the 1st
tube in a tube amp it has a
- small tone effect".
- My notes: I think this is an easy-to-build
single IC chip distortion/fuzz. Experiment with the diodes (try
LEDs, germanium diodes et...). Adjust the input and output caps
to your liking.
P. Another cool effects designer from our forum! His site
Groove Guitar FX Webpage Lots of stuff here! The schematics
have sound samples too!
- Check out Pauley's
Opamp Screamer. (Pauley's
Effect Palace) Hand
drawn layout (gty vbt)
- Check out Bill Bergman's nice TS layout
- What is the Tubo Tube Screamer?
- From Dai Hirokawa:
- "TS9"(Normal) mode(for comparison):
.047uF mylar w/two small signal Si diodes
"+" mode: 0.22uF polarized electrolytic w/four small
signal Si diodes--two for the top of the waveform, two for bottom
(these look the same as the ones used for the normal setting)
"Hot" mode: 1uF polarized electrolytic w/pair of LEDs(w/a
470k in parallel w/the LEDs)
"Turbo" mode: 2.2uF polarized electrolytic w/no diodes(seemed
odd but it does look open)
-the 4.7k and 51k are unchanged for all modes
- Order Jack's
CD for all of his cool projects. Lots of the coolest
pedals have been created with snippets and circuits of Jack Orman's
work. Check out his creations!
- Check out his
- FET Punch - The FET punch
uses readily available parts to create a versatile overdrive.
- Shaka Smooth - A smooth addition
to the Shaka Line! PDF file.
Joe is on a roll and is devising new pedals for us to try!
Joe Gagan - Watch for this guy!
Hollis - Cool Website too!
- Bosstone OK!
I believe this is the correct circuit. Lotsa FUZZ. This
circuit is not very touch sensitive. More of an in your face
type of fuzz. This thing has so much output. With my amp turned
OFF and the output all the way up, you can easily play this thing
Layout and more... on Guitars,
Amps and Effects.
Distortion Plus -
- You can order boards for the above. Prices for boards are
$10.00 each, including parts placement,and schematic.All anybody
has to do is to send a self addressed, stamped envelope stating
quantity to: Robert Shumway
41 Highmanor Drive
Send money order,and Robert will send out in mail the same day
he receives orders. Apparently he has 1800 Dyna-Comp boards
- Note: The input jack in the schematic is wired incorrectly.
The connections to the input jack should be swapped between the
9V and ground. See the negative terminal of the battery should
go to the middle connectore, not the tip as noted in the schematic.
Thanks to Jack Orman for
pointing this out.
his Guitar Effects FAQ! Oh man!
Elliot Tons of interesting projects on his page.
- I don't know.... A very fuzzy pedal. I guess
it sounds OK. If you like FUZZ, then you might like this, however,
I think the Lava Rim 2 is much better. Anyway, Jimi liked it
- Wah Yoy-Yoy Could
have errors. 8/3/01 - (Jens) The 22nF capacitor has to
go to the base of the second BC239C, not the collector!
- Alternate FET-Booster-Type Circuits
Philpott's Site) OK! Cool octave
on higher notes. Ring modulation and severe distortion! Mean
distortion pedal! I love this thing through my JD-10. I used
Mouser's 42TM022 transformer. Tke note that the Primary of the
Transformer is faced towards the output jack. For the MPS-A18,
I used the NTE equivalent. Watch for the reversed power supply.
- Orange Sunshine - OK!A
silicon transistor fuzz face clone. Probably any high gain silicon
transistor can be used. Not at all subtle.
- Gilles Caron, has a schematic,
layout, and PCB files - bottom
- You might want to check out "How
to build a Superfuzz pedal"
- A very cool Japanese
website with lots of cool projects on it. Thanks to Jack
Orman for pointing this one out. Please check out the web site
as there are more projects on there than I have listed here.
Speaker Simulators (misc)
Cool Article Links!
Sites with Sound Samples/Settings
More fun/interesting places